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UPIKE students compete in start-up pitch contest

Competed for more than $600 in cash and prizes

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (Nov. 17, 2016) — Ten UPIKE students competed for more than $600 in cash and prizes at the inaugural “Pizza and Pitch” business competition hosted by the Kentucky Innovation Network office at UPIKE and the Coleman College of Business.

Students delivered 60-second elevator pitches of their business ideas. The oral presentations included explaining a pervasive problem, the student’s solution to the problem, the market opportunity to sell the product and the student’s ability to make it happen.

Nico Rodenbusch, of Simmern, Germany, earned first place and $500 proposing an organic pet food additive made from citrus seeds to help prevent arthritis and joint problems in dogs.

Second place and $100 went to Christine Johnston, of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, for pitching “The Noodleeze,” a clip-on ramen noodle strainer, which saves up to three minutes of time while preventing noodle loss.

Andrew Carkner, of Ellensburg, Wash., won third place and $50 in gift certificates for his idea to provide a device to K-12 schools to sterilize common use implements and utensils to prevent the spread bacteria and decrease illness.

“Pitch competitions like these allow students from any major the opportunity to share their ideas,” said Justin Prater, assistant director of the Kentucky Innovation Network office and emcee of the event. “We look forward the hosting more competitions in the future for UPIKE’s aspiring entrepreneurs.”